April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day–which, strangely enough, is one of a few dishes that are uniquely American. It was invented here and has been a mainstay since Colonial times in America. The main ingredient for this type of bread is zucchini (of course), but you can add other ingredients like cinnamon, orange zest or even dried cranberries to make it more tangy or spicy. Zucchini bread is classified as a quick bread, meaning that there is no leavening agent (that’s yeast) so it can be prepared and baked immediately with no kneading or rising. [photo via flickr]
Nobody seems to mind that you can rush a good Zucchini Bread, though. In fact, it seems to be the bread that most people use for gifts. We’re not sure why, but we can’t remember ever complaining about getting a Zucchini Bread. Now here’s one sweet variation that the Colonists probably weren’t privy to, but is sure to become a favorite around your table…
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup grated zucchini, drained well
- ½ cup cooking oil
- ¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped nuts, optional
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Beat together sugar, zucchini and egg. Add oil and mix well. Add in lemon peel.
- Sift together all of the dry ingredients. Blend the dry ingredients into the batter. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased loaf pan and place in the oven for 60 to 65 minutes.
- Allow for the zucchini bread to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes then remove from the pan. Cool thoroughly.
- Wrap the bread and store overnight before slicing for best results.